What do Basset Hounds usually Die From?

The saddest part about owning a dog is they don’t live as much as we do. Dogs have a short lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. 

Luffy, my first basset hound, was super playful and adorable. But despite his happy and loving nature, Luffy’s health took a turn for the worse when he was about 8 years old. He started becoming more and more lethargic and losing weight. We found out he had severe hip dysplasia, ultimately leading to his death. 

Overall, Basset hounds are healthy dogs. However, like many other dog breeds, they are prone to health issues that can lead to premature death. 

So what do basset hounds usually die from?

Some of the main things Basset Hounds die from, if not old age, are Hip Dysplasia, Cancer, obesity, and Thrombopathia. But it is important to note that regular vet checkups, proper diet, and exercise can help to minimize the risk of severe health issues. 

In this article, we will go through some of the most common causes of death in Basset Hounds and also learn about a few things you can do to prolong their lives. 

Common Causes of Death in Basset Hounds

Understanding these medical issues can better prepare you to know what they look like when they occur, thus allowing you a better chance to get the dog to the hospital before things can get worse.


This is a blood disorder dogs with a low platelet count suffer from. Usually brought on by a period of prolonged blood loss or increased destruction of internal destruction of platelets, around 5% of dogs brought in for medical treatment have low platelet counts.

In severe cases, this can lead to abnormal bleeding or bloody urine; otherwise, it will not be obvious to the owner, and a blood test will be required.

Around 20% of dogs succumb to this disorder, so it is imperative to keep track of the dog’s blood test. 


Do you know why basset hounds were bred? For hunting. And do you know what they are doing these days? Being a couch potato. Eating a lot and not exercising enough has made this breed prone to obesity.

I asked a Reddit community of basset hound owners to ping me their dog’s weight. And guess what? More than 30% of basset hounds were overweight. And out of those 30, more than 40% were obese. 

Obesity may lead to death itself or the development of other illnesses that could lead to death. It’s imperative always to keep track of the dog’s weight as they are small dogs, so they gain weight easily. 

Kidney Failure

Kidney issues are frequent in all dogs, and they ultimately lead to kidney failure if not dealt with properly. Kidney failure is acute and can occur rapidly, so the time to intervene is not very long.

The initial kidney problems usually come from the digs ingestion of a toxin or when blood flow decreases, leaving their kidneys less oxygenated and thus more vulnerable to disease.

Some signs that your dog may be dealing with kidney issues are decreased appetite, blood in urine, vomiting, or lack of energy.


Just like humans, cancer is an issue for dogs. Roughly 50% of dogs develop cancer after age ten, and with Basset Hounds often living till then, you can see why this can be an issue. Of course, cancer is not one single thing, as there are different variations. A Basset Hounds is most likely to suffer from Squamous Cell Carcinoma. 

The tumors for this cancer will show up in the lower legs, abdomen, or rear. Too much exposure to the sun could be one cause of Squamous, but it can also be brought on by a virus. Just like humans, a dog can undergo surgery to remove the tumor, or chemotherapy and radiation would be the next step if that doesn’t work. 

How do you know a Basset Hound is dying?

Even if you think everything is going well and you have done everything right to ensure your dog’s health. The dog will give you clear signs when they are not doing well or may die.

For illnesses such as ear infections, you will see them shaking their head a lot or tilting their head to the side.

For wobbler syndrome, as the name suggests, you will see the dog waddle as they walk. However, when a dog is dying, if not from an illness, they will also make you aware through their actions.

A dog on the verge of death will lose its appetite, seek a secluded area to be alone, and they lack energy. If a dog is on the brink of death and you are in tune with them, then you will notice when something is off.

At that point, you have a choice to make you want to wait until it happens naturally, or you want to put the dog to sleep to end its suffering.

How can you prolong a Basset Hound’s life?

Of course, constant checks with the vet can help ensure that any medical issues are caught in time. However, you can do an outside check to help catch any problems early on or prevent them entirely.

  1. Check a dog’s ears constantly. One of the main issues a Basset Hound runs into is ear infections. Make sure to clean basset hound’s ears and regularly check for any redness or sores. 
  2. A Basset hound should be fed 2-3 times daily with the same amount of food through each meal. What brand or how you feed your dog (Dog kittle or raw diet) is a matter of preference, but you must ensure they receive a balanced diet. If the dog is retaining too much weight, it is a sign that the feeding schedule has to change or a medical issue has occurred, and they must go to the vet.
  3. Excise is essential to a basset hound for their health. A minimum of one hour of exercise should be adhered to daily to ensure the dog’s physical and mental health. Yon can read this article to know more about how much exercise they need.
  4. Bath every one to two weeks, along with ear cleaning once or twice a week.

These basic steps can be taken and can significantly impact a basset hound’s life. With Basset Hounds being small and friendly dogs, it becomes all the more important to look after them.

You look at a german shepherd or a pit bull; they look like they can care for themselves. But Basset Hounds need constant attention as they can be lazy dogs sometimes, and this laziness can allow for the festering of illnesses and diseases. 


A Basset hound is considered a healthy dog. Many of them live to old age and die from old age, but that does not mean they do not have medical risks.

Their floppy ears and the likelihood of retaining water within make them susceptible to ear infections. With their small size, they can become vulnerable to obesity.

These things should be taken seriously and can shorten a dog’s lifespan. However, Basset Hounds can live a healthy life with regular checkups, daily exercise, and a well-balanced diet.